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The Doctoral Symposium is a forum for doctoral students to present their research topic and receive detailed feedback in a constructive and friendly atmosphere. PhD students at any stage of the research are welcome, although they are expected to already have an identified research topic. Participants will obtain useful guidance that will help them complete their research, prepare their thesis, and begin a research career.

The main objectives of the Doctoral Symposium are:

  • to allow PhD students to practise effective writing and communication of their research;
  • to receive constructive feedback from the Program Committee, Academic Panel, and other participants;
  • to offer opportunities to form research collaborations and interact with other researchers at the main conferences.

In 2018 the Doctoral Symposium will be a joint event between the ECOOP and ISSTA conferences, so we welcome participation of students who pursue their research in the areas of both object-oriented programming and software testing and analysis. The event will take place on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018: between the ISSTA and ECOOP conferences. To get more feedback and share their research with a broader audience, participants of the Doctoral Symposium are strongly encouraged to participate in the Poster Session to be held later the same day.

Event Format (updated)

The Doctoral Symposium takes the form of a full-day event of interactive presentations. The day will start with a series of lightning talks where each PhD student will give a two-minute “elevator pitch” of their research. This will be followed by formal presentations from each PhD student, with time allocated for both the presentation as well as questions and discussions:

  • 16 minutes for junior submissions (10'' for presentation and 6'' for feedback);
  • 25 minutes for senior submissions (15'' for presentation and 10'' for feedback).

The program will also include two keynote talks on topics related to PhD studies, research, and life beyond the PhD.

Besides the formal presentations and discussions in sessions, there will be plenty of opportunities for informal interactions during breaks, lunch and (possibly) dinner. To receive more feedback on their own work and get to know with other researchers, participants are invited to take part in the Poster Session.

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11:00 - 12:30: Doc Symposium - Session 1 at Winterthur
ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium11:00 - 11:04
Day opening
ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium11:04 - 11:24
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium11:24 - 11:40
Doctoral symposium paper
Mohammadreza AshouriUniversity of Potsdam, Germany
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium11:40 - 11:56
Doctoral symposium paper
Asanka SayakkaraUniversity College Dublin
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium11:56 - 12:26
Mauro PezzeUniversità della Svizzera italiana (USI) and Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
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13:30 - 15:24: Doc Symposium - Session 2 at Winterthur
ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium14:00 - 14:25
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Olivier FlückigerNortheastern University, USA
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium14:25 - 14:41
Doctoral symposium paper
Anastasios AntoniadisUniversity of Athens, Greece
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium14:41 - 14:57
Doctoral symposium paper
Goran PiskachevFraunhofer IEM
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium14:57 - 15:13
Doctoral symposium paper
Timotej KapusImperial College London
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium15:13 - 15:29
Doctoral symposium paper
Dan IorgaImperial College London, UK
16:00 - 17:43: Doc Symposium - Session 3 at Winterthur
ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium16:00 - 16:25
Doctoral symposium paper
Hannes ThallerInstitute for Software Systems Engineering, Johannes Kepler University, Linz
ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium16:25 - 16:41
Doctoral symposium paper
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium16:41 - 16:57
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Matteo BiagiolaFondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy
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ecoop-issta-2018-doctoral-symposium16:57 - 17:27
Cindy Rubio-GonzálezUniversity of California, Davis

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Doctoral symposium paper

Call for Submissions

We have three distinct submission categories: junior submissions or extended abstracts, and senior submissions. Junior students may not yet have fully developed a thesis topic, so they will present their research ideas and any progress to date. Senior students are expected to give an outline of their thesis research and will receive feedback to help them successfully complete their thesis and defense/viva.

Submissions are due on April 25th, 2018, AOE April 15th, 2018, AOE and are done via the HotCRP website. Late submission deadline (strict) is on May 18th, 2018, AOE. Late-deadline submissions will be reviewed independently of the early submissions, and priority will be given to submissions received by the first deadline.

As participants of the Doctoral Symposium are not expected to submit technical papers, but rather thesis proposals, participants can submit to both the main conferences/workshops and the Doctoral Symposium. There will be no proceedings for the Doctoral Symposium. Submissions are not double blind.

Junior PhD Students

Extended Abstract

Submit an extended abstract of a research proposal (max 3 pages) in the Dagstuhl LIPIcs format with a problem description, and, optionally, sketch of a proposed approach and/or related work.
The abstract should include the name and university email of your PhD advisor.

Research Proposal

Submit a research proposal (max 8 pages) in the Dagstuhl LIPIcs format with:

  • a problem description;
  • a detailed sketch of a proposed approach;
  • related work.

It is not necessary to present concrete results. Instead, try to inform the reader that you have a (well-motivated) problem and present a possible solution. Attempt to provide a clear road map detailing future research efforts.
The research proposal should include the name and university email of your PhD advisor.

Senior PhD Students

The experience for senior students is meant to mimic a “mini-defense” interview. Aside from the actual feedback, this helps the student will gain familiarity with the style and mechanics of such an interview (advisors of student presenters will not be allowed in).

The students should be able to present:

  • the importance of the problem;
  • a clear research proposal;
  • some preliminary work;
  • an evaluation plan.

Please submit a thesis proposal (max 10 pages) in the Dagstuhl LIPIcs format with the following:

  1. Problem Description
    • What is the problem?
    • What is the significance of this problem?
    • Why can the current state of the art not solve this problem?
  2. Goal Statement
    • What is the goal of your research?
    • What artifacts (tools, theories, methods) will be produced,
    • How do they address the stated problem?
  3. Method
    • What experiments, prototypes, or studies need to be produced/executed?
    • What is the validation strategy? How will it show the goal was reached?

This isn’t a technical paper, don’t focus on technical details, but rather on the research method.
The paper should include the name and university email of your PhD advisor.


Accepted students will give two presentations:

  1. A two-minute presentation stating key issues of the research (the “elevator pitch”).
  2. A 7–15 minute presentation followed by 7–15” of questions, feedback and discussions. Concrete time slots will be determined later with regards to the number of submissions and accepted papers.

Prior to the symposium, each student will be assigned submissions of two other students. For each submission the student will prepare a short summary, some feedback. and 2-3 questions on the submission. All participants will also be expected to take active part in all discussions.

Looking ahead: what can we do during the PhD for a future career?

Mauro Pezze
Università della Svizzera italiana


The PhD is a core formative period with a major impact on the future career, being it in academia or industry, in research or production. The PhD is a unicum in the educational path: It is profoundly different from any other formation activity, gives unique opportunities that do not return in the professional life, and shall be lived as such with no biases toward the future.

However, choices and decisions during the PhD may impact the future professional life. While the uniqueness of each individual PhD experience makes it impossible to provide rules of thumb for the best organisation of a PhD, my long lasting research experience with over thirty-five PhD students, and the participation to many doctoral symposiums and PhD schools led me to some considerations that I would like to share with the audience.

In the talk, we will touch some core questions about the relation of the PhD and future professional life. I will share some personal observations about important themes like publication strategies, presentation attitude, participation criteria, timing, collaboration, scientific production. Although my experience is largely grounded in Europe, my sabbatical periods in North America and Asia give me the opportunity to share also some considerations about differences and similarities among continents and education systems.


Mauro Pezzè is a professor of software engineering at USI - Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland, where he coordinates the STAR - Software Testing and Analysis research Lab, and where he served as Dean. Mauro Pezzè is also a professor at the Università degli studi di Milano Bicocca, where he coordinates the LTA - Laboratory for Software Testing and Analysis. Mauro Pezzè is associate editor of STVR, the International Journal of Software Testing, Analysis and Verification, and has served in the editorial board of IEEE TSE Transactions on Software Engineering and ACM TOSEM Transactions on Software Engineering, as program chair of ICSE, the International Conference on Software Engineering, in 2012, and program and general chair of ISSTA, the ACM International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, in 2006 and 2013, respectively. He is the co-author of an influential book ‘Software Testing and Analysis, Process, Principle and Techniques, and is known for his work on software testing, program analysis, self-healing and self-adaptive software systems. During his career, Mauro Pezzè had the opportunity to visit as student, research and professor the University of Edinburg, the University of California Irvine and the National University of Singapore, and has advised over 35 PhD students, many of which are prominent members of the academic and industrial communities.

Landing your Dream Job After Graduate School

Cindy Rubio-Gonzalez
University of California, Davis


There are a large number of exciting directions that a Ph.D. student can follow, each having different requirements and expectations. In this talk, I will describe my journey from Computer Science Ph.D. student to tenure-track assistant professor. I will discuss the job application process, strategies to prepare for job interviews, and tips for negotiating job offers. Finally, for those considering the academic career path, I will share my experience thus far as an assistant professor.


Cindy Rubio-Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis. Prior to that position, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the EECS Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2012. Cindy’s work spans the areas of Programming Languages and Software Engineering, with a focus on program analysis for automated bug finding, bug fixing, and program optimization. She is particularly interested in the reliability and performance of systems software and scientific computing applications. Some of her recent awards include: NSF CAREER Award 2018, Hellman Fellowship 2017, UC Davis CAMPOS Faculty Award 2014, and AAUW International Doctoral Fellowship 2008.